Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Regrets, No Complaints

Here we are half way into the first month of the New Year and I think I’m finally getting back on track. I had all good intentions of starting the New Year on a positive note with happy, upbeat blog postings. But alas, my problems with the Vista operating system on my new computer changed all that. I’m not going to revisit those problems again but I will say the whole experience left me a little shaky. The whole idea of getting a new computer was to get a sense of comfort and security that I would lose all my data on my old Gateway computer. Never in a million years did I think I would encounter the level of problems I had with Vista. Those problems still aren’t over. I have yet to load my Palm Pilot information on my new computer. Why? Oh, my old Palm program isn’t compatible with Vista. This is just another “improvement” for “upgrading” to the Vista operating system.

So here I am, sitting at my new computer, listening to my music (which is working now, thank goodness), typing in this entry on my wireless keyboard, using my wireless mouse. I disconnected my wireless printer and now have it plugged into the back of my computer. Interestingly, I now have one less cord running out of the back of my computer. The “wireless” printer had TWO cords running out the back (that makes sense.) So now I’m ready to enjoy what I paid a lot of money for, my new computer. I don’t feel like that is asking a whole lot.

One of the readers of my blog suggested that I write a blog about my life now in cyber world versus a life I would have had 150 years ago in the hills of western North Carolina, from whence my ancestors struggled to make a living. While it sounds all well and nice to be self sufficient as they were, I think I prefer my life today with all its frustrations. While my great-great-great-great grandfather Major Jonathan Tipton (1750-1833) had to worry about getting the crop in and producing enough food for his family of 19 children to carry them through the winter, I only have to worry about how fast is my connection to the Internet. While Jonathan and Keziah Tipton (his 2nd wife – he would have one more before he finished his Life’s Journey) and their children huddled together in their log cabin during the winter trying to stave off the cold winter winds, I’m worried about how much higher my heating bill with Poore’s Propane (an appropriate name for a heating company I would say) is going to go up next month. At least I have the wherewithal to pay the bill. I don’t to worry about bears or snakes invading my home. The only snakes I have to worry about are the two legged kind and there are plenty of them around.

I guess it all boils down to the context. Maybe a lot has to do with what one is used to. If you never had something, chances are you really don’t miss it. Still, I would find it very hard to get used to sleeping on a wooden floor in the winter time with the snow blowing through the cracks in the log house in which Jonathan and his family lived. Even as late as 1926, my uncle Tip (Fieldon Jacob Tipton, Jr.) told me that when he was born on December 31st, 1926, that the midwife had to brush the snowflakes away from him that came in through the spaces in the wooden walls of the cabin in which he was born. Can you imagine?

What is even harder for me to imagine is if my grandparents had not moved their family to Pennsylvania in 1929, where would I be now? I don’t think I would be sitting on a fence plucking a banjo a la Deliverance, but I probably wouldn’t be too far from that scene. I’ve been down those hills in North Carolina and I’m telling you, they haven’t changed all that much from Major Jonathan Tipton’s time. What really boggles my mind though, is what would my life have been like as a gay man? Or, maybe those mountains of North Carolina were like the present day Iran, there were no gays. Then again, maybe not. They probably had big closests back then.

I am extremely thankful to be where I am today. Even with all my frustrations and the roadblocks I encounter in everyday living. My life is infinitely better than my ancestor’s life was back in their day. However, I do wonder what someone reading this blog 150 years from now would think of the way I live today. They would probably think “How could he live under such circumstances?” I manage. Just as my great-great-great-great grandfather Jonathan Tipton managed in his time, I manage in my time. After all, life is all about survival and reaching a quality of life that we can enjoy the short time that we are on this earth. I hope this blog posting survives for the next 150 years so someone in the future will know that this 67 year old, gay white man was happy with his lot in life. I have no regrets and I have no complaints. However, it would be nice if I could string a few days together without encountering some kind of technological problem. Just yesterday I couldn't get TCM (Turner Classic Movies) on my satellite TV. Would would Major Jonathan think?


  1. jim rossignol3:16 PM


    Thanks for honoring the request!

    One of your best posts, and that's running in a pretty tough field! (And I don't think that's my request prejudice talking :) Really enjoyed it! Thanks again!


  2. jim rossignol3:20 PM


    where DO you get all these great photos? (it's okay if it's a secret source.) Had me cracking up out loud again! You have a real knack for finding the appropriate one. And the funny one too when the situation calls for it. Just great.

  3. Jim,

    Believe it or not, I don't troll the Internet for the photos. I just don't have the time. I'm lucky in that I have friends and kin who send me a LOT of e-mail. One distant relative from Witchita Kansas sends the best photos. He's a gold mine. I sort through all the e-mails and save the best. Some of the photos are mine though. I can spot an absurd situation very easily and I record it. I don't go anywhere without my camera. Just ask my friends. I'm always ready for that perfect shot.


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